Central grad bursts onto track scene

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tyler Terry wasn't favored to win either of his jumping events at the Ohio Valley Conference indoor track and field meet.

But the Southeast Missouri State sophomore from Central High School had faith he could pull off a sweep.

"I was ranked second in both coming into the meet, but I was confident I could do it," Terry said.

Mission accomplished.

Terry put on a dazzling display in Charleston, Ill., winning the long jump Friday and the triple jump Saturday.

Both victories featured career-best performances as Terry went 24 feet, 5 3/4 inches in the long jump and 48-4 1/2 in the triple jump to become Southeast's lone double winner.

"Tyler had a great meet and he's had a really good season," Southeast coach Eric Crumpecker said. "It's not that often that somebody wins both the long jump and triple jump.

"He's worked really hard and I think he's got a very bright future here."

Terry said he had hoped to do even better in the long jump.

"I was kind of disappointed because I wanted to go further," he said. "I fouled on a jump that was a lot bigger than my PR."

Still, Terry found it hard to complain much after the big improvement he has made from his freshman season.

Terry was third in the long jump and fourth in the triple jump at last year's OVC indoor meet, then finished seventh in the long jump and fifth in the triple jump at the OVC outdoor meet.

"Everything freshman year was a big learning experience for me, just the technique, the mechanical part," Terry said. "I kind of had that under my belt [going into this season]. I just had to get stronger."

Terry earned multiple all-state honors during his final three seasons at Central, with top finishes of second place in both the long jump and triple jump as a junior.

After considering a few other schools, Terry figures he made a wise choice in picking Southeast.

"Some of the other schools pretty much wanted me to walk on, but SEMO gave me some scholarship money," Terry said.

Not to mention it's in his hometown, which has led to his nickname.

"That's pretty cool I guess, being a local standout," Terry said. "That's what everybody [his teammates] calls me, local standout."

Now that his indoor season has gone so well, Terry can't wait for the outdoor campaign to begin in a few weeks.

"Oh yeah, that's just motivation to train even harder," he said.

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